Friday, June 27, 2014

A great day


What an incredible shopping trip we had. We went to Kmart for a blanket.  Found the perfect blanket, plus a faux mink one on sale - just for fun. We kept looking around, and as Wayne went off looking at something, I turned and saw a box on a high shelf, my hands moved to pick it up so I could look at it and I saw the entertainment stand we had been looking for and kind of forgot about. Checked the measurements, yep perfect. Then Wayne said to follow him because he found somethingIt was an ottoman. I completely forgot about needing an ottoman for the den. It was, of course, the perfect size for our needs.
We continued shopping, finding bargain after bargain of things we forgot we had been looking for. As we approached the checkout with our overflowing cart, Wayne said, "There's only one checkout open." I said quite casually and confidently, "Another one will open." I barely got the words out and a checker yelled, "I'm opening over here."
Later that day, after running out for ice cream, we drove through Kulpmont, Shamokin and on to Elysburg. Not sure how many traffic lights that is, but we got every green light. At one point, I said to Wayne, "Did we get every green light?"  He said "Yep, and there's one more yet." Sure enough, as we got closer to it, the red light turned green. 

What a day!

 

SNOW (The Laments of a S.A.D. sufferer)


Most years, around the end of October, you can no longer walk out your front door without some bundling up. At least the roads and walkways are clear. The air is crisp. Not too bad. But in your heart, you know what lies ahead. 
It starts out so pretty. All white and pure, glistening in the moonlight. So pretty, indeed.
Then – it keeps coming and coming. Soon you can’t walk out the front door. You (or if you’re lucky, a spouse or paid neighbor child) have to shovel a path to your car or you’ll be trapped. 
If you have a dog in your family, that’s a whole ‘nother story. Where to potty. With several feet of that beautiful white stuff out there and short little beagle legs, where is she to go? She won’t go on the street; she won’t go on the path.  She looks up at you as if to say, “Where is my potty area, Mommy?”  More shoveling. Finally, you get a handle on it and realize it’s going to be OK. 
Oh no, more snow is coming. Another foot? Drifting? It all begins again.
And then there’s the soot, ashes, salt and cinders that the town spreads for our own safety. At the time, it’s a welcome sight. But days, weeks, months later, as the snow melts and the soot is all that’s left on the streets and sidewalks, it’s not quite that welcome. Your shoes, the dog’s feet, the floors throughout the house are all covered with the lovely black stuff. You’re constantly cleaning – your shoes, the dog’s feet, the floors. 
But it’s not over. More snow, and the whole thing begins again. This goes on for months and months, from November to March or even April. 
Finally, maybe around mid-April, you start to feel a little warmth of the sun. Not much, but enough to lift your spirits. By some time in June, you feel like it’s really Summer. Some years, you  may have to wear a sweater or jacket to sit out on the deck at night. Or you may have to fire up the chimnea, but you know it’s summer.   
Before you know it, it’s Labor Day. It’s all over. The leaves are turning beautiful colors. It’s lovely. Lovely, indeed. But you know what Autumn means. Winter is just around the corner. And it will all begin again.

 

An Innocent Drive to the Mall



I had to find a dress for a wedding.  A tough job as it is. We thought we’d stop at Kohl’s on the Selinsgrove Strip before hitting the mall.

There were a few open parking spots close to the store. We pulled into one, and as I started to get out of the truck, I heard a voice say, “Stay in the vehicle.” At first I thought someone was pulling in next to us and didn’t want to hit the truck door. So I leaned the door in.  The voice repeated, “Stay in the vehicle.” I looked back and saw the flashing lights.  A State Police car was parked right up on our bumper.  How in the world did I miss it?  My husband didn’t notice it either. The policeman came over to Wayne’s side and said to both of us, “Put your hands where I can see them.” We quickly slapped our hands on the dash board. He asked that we not move until backup arrived.  Backup? No problem. We were frozen with fear. 

 A second car pulled up. He then asked Wayne to “step out of the car, sir.” They finally explained that they were looking for someone driving a similar vehicle. One of them said that they realized Wayne wasn’t the perpetrator because he didn’t have a ponytail. He added, “Although your hair is almost long enough to get it into a ponytail.” I found that very funny since just that morning, I told Wayne he needed a haircut. So I yelled that out the window to the policeman. He chuckled. At that point, everyone realized we weren’t in any trouble. As the first officer was running a check on Wayne’s license, I said to Officer #2 how exciting this was, and that I wished I had my camera. He laughed and asked if I’d like him to cuff Wayne – for the Christmas newsletter. 

All this time, people were walking through the parking lot, staring at us. I really hope no one I know saw us. Imagine the stories flying through our hometown.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What Do You Do Now That You're Retired

"What do you do now that you're retired?"

 
I get asked this question quite a bit, and I thought about it. What do I do? I decided to list what I do (I'm an avid list-maker).
 
One typical day, I:
 
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         made the bed, threw on some clothes and had some breakfast
·         put on my makeup - with the dogs right there with me
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         surfed the net and sent an email or two; sometimes I do some writing
·         went upstairs to clean the bathroom
·         Kinder ran up after me and jumped on the bed, so I snuggled with him for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         cleaned the bathroom
·         came downstairs and cleaned the half-bath
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         took the cat, Sassy, on an "ups-a-daisy" walk around the house (takes about 15-20 minutes)
·         decided to type up this list
 
And it's about time for lunch. J
 
·         did some dishes by hand!
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         ran the swivel sweeper to pick up all the newly blowing tumble weeds of dog hair
·         took Sheila to the vet for her yearly checkup
 
 
On another typical day, I:
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more)
·         threw a load of wash in
·         made the bed, threw on some clothes and had a light breakfast
·         put on my makeup - with the dogs right there with me
·         hung the laundry out on the clothes line
·         hit the gym (good girl)
·         had a light snack
·         snuggled with the dogs for about 30 minutes (maybe more) They missed me!
·         did some ironing
 
Lunch time.
 
·         washed a few windows - the ones the dogs decorate with their nose art
·         cleaned under radiators, etc., where all the dust and dog hair gathers
·         took the dogs for theirs walks, one at a time (they don't behave when they go together)
·         took Sassy on an outside walk, with her tiny little leash (she loves to watch the water trickle in the creek behind our house)
 
After I typed up my list, I realized that I wouldn't have much to do if it weren't for my dogs and cat - mostly the dogs. And ya know what? I wouldn't have it any other way.
 
 
 
 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Car Keys


The employee shuttle was pulling up, so I quickly grabbed my umbrella and bag and ran to catch it. I got the feeling that in my haste, I may have left my keys in the car. I searched my bag.  They weren’t in there. When I got into work, I toyed with the idea of taking the shuttle back out to find them but decided against it. It’s not a new car. It’s in an employee parking lot. What can happen, right? But then I thought, “What if I dropped them while running for the bus, and someone found them and turned them in somewhere. Or what if they got kicked under someone else’s car.”  I called my husband, who works at the same place, and he brought his key to me, so at least I’d have a way of starting the car to get home. We would deal with the lost keys later.

The day ended, and I rode the bus out to the parking lot. While walking to my car I searched the ground looking for my keys. Nothing. As I got closer, I started hearing a low rumbling humming sound. I thought, “Is that… did I… No, it couldn’t be.” Yep, my car was running. I not only left the keys in the ignition, I actually never turned the car off. At first I panicked. I quickly turned it off to let it cool down. I waited, calmed myself and turned the ignition. Except for missing about a half tank of gas, everything seemed OK. My original thought was to keep this to myself. I’d be too embarrassed to tell anyone about it, especially my husband. But the more I thought about it, the funnier it seemed. What kind of idiot leaves their car running for eight and a half hours. I started laughing at myself and then couldn’t wait to tell everyone. I posted it on FaceBook, called my friends. Everyone had a good laugh. Well, everyone except my husband. When I told him, he looked at me like I just told him I decided to cut off my left leg just for fun. He was quiet for a very long time. Eventually, he got over it. But I don’t think he ever laughed about it.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Interesting Visitor


The Interesting Visitor


     We were having work done on our house, and the maintenance truck was in our driveway when I pulled up after work. So I parked in the street. I saw a vehicle on the side street  - just stopped and pointing at our house. At first I thought it was someone talking to our crazy beagles in our screened in porch. But the man yelled over, "I grew up in this house."  I said, "Cmon in." He said he was on oxygen and didn't want to drag the tank in. He was just showing his friend where he had grown up. I told him he may want to see the house because we remodeled the kitchen, blowing out the wall. He said he always thought that wall should have been blown out, but no one would believe him.
     He first thought he'd just peer in the front window but then decided to come in.  We were so glad he did. What an extraordinary visit.
     He told us stories of growing up in the house. We asked him questions about the house. He was thrilled to talk about it - how he had to mow with a hand-push mower up the hill where we now have mulch and flowers; talks of snakes and spiders, and the old fireplace (now propane).  He used to enjoy sleeping in the screened in porch when he came home for visits. He told us that one night while sleeping out there, he heard tires screech and a crashing sound.  But he didn't hear police or ambulance sirens. So he and his wife drove out to investigate. They found
skid marks and part of the guard rail down, and then found a truck barely visible from the road. His wife drove back to the house to call for help (no cell phones in those days), and he tended to the driver.  The man was trapped under the truck with the exhaust pipe on his chest, burning him. Our friend used a tree branch to prop the pipe up while they waited for help.
     He told us stories of
Vietnam. Once while on guard duty, in the pitch darkness, as he held his gun, finger on the trigger, he felt a weight slowly crawling across his arm. He held perfectly still as a 7-foot snake slowly made its way over both of his arms. He told us about being sprayed with Agent Orange - twice, being told they were spraying for mosquitoes. And that's what led to his oxygen tank.
     I was tending to the dogs when my husband found out that the visitor's friend was actually his Hospice caretaker. But I'm glad I didn't know at the time.  I might have treated him differently, little pity. Instead I fully enjoyed his company. His friend/caretaker thanked us for making his day. He said he could see how much he enjoyed seeing his old homestead, how much it meant to him that we were taking such good care of it.
 
A very interesting visitor - a very enjoyable visit.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Motel

The Motel

 
We pulled into the parking lot and were greeted by a man with some teeth missing and a girl with an iguana on her arm. Not a tattoo, the real thing. When they processed our check-in, he said he had to run our credit card through for one penny, even though our card was already billed, just to show his boss that he checked us in. 
 
As my husband was getting directions to the wedding we were attending, the reason we were staying in this lovely motel, I took a look around. There were tables and chairs with vinyl table cloths on them scattered in three little sections. One section had a microwave on a small counter; another had an exercise bike right in with the dining tables; and one had an oil painting sitting on top of a table, propped against the wall.
 
He told us our room number. There were three buildings with no cars in their parking lots. Our room was in the very last building, third from the end, by a dark wooded area. Thoughts of “Psycho” came to mind. As I put the key in the door, I noticed that the door was scratched or carved around the door knob area as if it were once broken into and never repaired. Oh this is getting better and better, isn’t it? 
 
The room didn’t look too bad at first glance. Then we noticed that there was no microwave or fridge as mentioned on line. I guess that one in the lovely dining/exercise area was the aforementioned microwave.
 
And oh, what a bathroom… It had paper bath mats, no hand towels, and the toilet had one of those soft squishy toilet seats. It wasn’t much of a flusher either.  It was a dark green, very old, and the single light over the sink must have had a 40 watt bulb in it. 
 
Back to the room itself, my husband killed three spiders. He could not figure out how to get the 12-channel TV to turn on. One of the bed lamps had a hole where the push button switch should have been. We couldn’t even fill the cooler with ice and beer to get through the night – no ice machine!
 
So… we changed for the wedding and made our decision that after the wedding, we would go back to the room, pack up our stuff, and leave. We checked out at 10:25pm. We didn't even try for a refund. We just had to get out of there.